I haven’t been blogging regularly, but all is well. Busy on the farm these days, and then there’s that pesky job that pays the bills. But, I’m thankful for that pesky job. So thankful.
Recently, I’ve gotten into subscribing to podcasts and putting them on my iPod. My classic iPod. Still going strong after several years. Anyway, so I’ve subscribed to several podcasts that I then listen to while mowing, because the mowing around here can take some hours.
A few days ago I listened to one such podcast from John MacArthur. He told a story that brought tears to my eyes, and I want to share it with y’all. Hope you like.
Tribes once roamed the Soviet expanse much like Indian tribes roamed the Americas. The tribes that controlled the best hunting grounds and the choicest natural resources had the strongest and wisest leaders. I heard about one particular tribe whose success was due to the fairness and wisdom of the laws that their great leader made and enforced. His word was law. One of his greatest laws was that parents must be loved and honored. Other laws included murder as punishable by death, and stealing required severe punishment.
The tribe was prospering greatly when a disturbing thing began to occur. Someone in the tribe was stealing. It was reported to the great leader. He sent out a proclamation that when the thief was caught, he would receive ten lashes from the tribal whip master. The thievery continued despite the warnings, so he raised the punishment to twenty. Still it continued, so he raised it to thirty. Finally he raised it to forty. He knew that only one person in the tribe could survive such a severe lashing–himself.
Eventually the thief was caught. To the horror of everyone, it was the great leader’s own aged mother. The people wondered what the leader would do. His law said that parents were to be loved and honored, yet thieves were to be whipped. Great arguments arose as the day of judgment approached. Would he satisfy his love and save his mother, or would he satisfy his law and watch his mother die under the whip? Soon tribal members were divided–they even bet on what he would do.
Finally the day came. The tribe gathered around the great compound. In the center was a large post driven into the ground. The leader’s great throne sat in the place of prominence. With great pomp and ceremony the leader entered and took his place on the throne. The silence was deafening. His frail little mother was led into the compound between two towering warriors. They tied her to the post. The crowd murmured in debate: will he satisfy his love at the expense of his law, or his law at the expense of his love? The tribal whip master entered carrying a long leather whip. He was a powerful man with bulging muscles. As he approached the little woman, the warriors ripped her shirt off, exposing her frail little back to the cruelty of the lash. Everyone gasped. Was the leader really going to let her die?
The leader sat staring without moving. All eyes darted from him to the whip master and back again. The whip master took his stance, his great arm cracked the whip in the air as he prepared to bring the first lash upon her.
Just as the whip master started to bring his powerful arm forward with the first cutting stroke, the leader held up his hand to halt the punishment. A sigh of relief went up from the tribe. His love would be satisfied. But what about his law?
The leader rose from his throne and strode toward his mother. As he walked he removed his own shirt, throwing it aside. He then wrapped his great arms around his mother, exposing his huge muscular back to the whip master. Breaking the heavy silence he commanded, “Proceed with the punishment.” Thus both his law and his love were satisfied.
Remind you of anything?
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”–Isaiah 53:5